I’ve always been struck—ouch—at the futility of employing washroom hand dryers. Other than those Airblade contraptions that also sonically wash your eardrums, you press a button only to find a semblance of mildly warm air hitting your responsibly washed hands, and little else. This is less than useful.

So you hit up the paper towel dispenser, only to discover there isn’t anywhere convenient to discard the used portion.


My name is Ruben Schade, and I’m mostly harmless. I live to tinker with vintage computer hardware, write in nice cafés in the mid-morning, and flesh out about pages not unlike this one. My beautiful girlfriend Clara and I spend far too much time drinking bubble tea and travelling.

I make a living as a technical writer and solution architect for an IaaS company in Sydney and San Francisco, but I grew up in Singapore where I developed a taste for well-funded infrastructure, lah. I’m also working up the guts to do more speaking and attend more industry events, especially for the BSDs.

My Internet handle has been rubenerd since I was 13. I thought it was a wickedly-clever concatenation at the time. Now I just think it’s delightfully self-deprecating, just like my last name.

The site

Rubenerd is my weblog and podcast of things that have interested me since 2004. I write it because it’s fun; if people enjoy reading it, so much the better. Topics include anime, travel, public transport, operating systems, digital privacy, Asia, and coffee.

The latest design is the simplest I could make it, partly in protest of what the modern web has become. There’s no JavaScript, downloading fonts, embeds, hamburger icons, looping background videos, popups, newsletter signup prompts, sticky navbars, autoplaying videos, iframes, or design sense. Wait, I needed that last one.

The backend is proudly powered by FreeBSD, everyone’s favourite OS. More information can be found on the Engine Room Omake page.

Rubi the mascot

Rubi is the site’s mascot, drawn by Clara Tse. Her mismatching, Miku-esque boots elude to my predilection for not wearing matching socks. Mobile users can view her here.

(Funny story, I was chided for wearing orange and red socks during a high school work experience day, with the implication that I wasn’t taking the assignment seriously. The day I’m looked over on account of my socks is when I miss a bullet).

We agreed that Rubi was born in Sapporo on her birthday. Her favourite foods are shiroi koibito biscuits and curry udon, washed down with green tea lattes. These are burned off by trips to heated pools and nature hiking in the Hokkaido wilderness. She enjoys reading, cosplaying, and slice-of-life anime that may or may not have robots. Her dream is to start a line of tactical cargo skirts that can actually fit modern phones and battery chargers.

Geek code

Version: 3.1
GIT/TW d+ s+:-- a C+++ UBL++++$ P+++>++++ L+ E--- 
W+++ N+ !o? K-? w--$ O+ M++$ V PS+ PE- Y+ PGP+ t++ 
5+ X+ R tv b++ DI-- D G+ e++ h r++>+++ y+
------END GEEK CODE BLOCK------ 

Contact me

The easiest way is via Mastodon or Twitter. Otherwise, this is my email:

printf "%s@%s.%s\n" me rubenschade com

Update 2021: I’ve had to revise my comment policy in light of trolls and spam (of course). You grant me permission to post whatever you email me, along with your name. If you can’t stand by your words, don’t send them.

I’m also on Pinboard, Instagram, Wikipedia, and GitHub. I used to post to Flickr, YouTube, and Vimeo. I have a Facebook, but avoid that ethical quagmire as much as humanly possible.